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Thread: Meteorological Work - No.224 Squadron - James Lorenzo Nelson

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
    Thanked 23 Times in 19 Posts

    Default Meteorological Work - No.224 Squadron - James Lorenzo Nelson

    While I am posting a length biographical note on 59552 James Lorenzo Nelson, I am principally seeking any accounts or anecdotes that may be available arising from his tour with No.224 Squadron on meteorological work, 1947 to 1950; he was awarded the Air Force Cross, 1 January 1951. Also, what might be the Communications Flight that he commanded, 1950-1951 ?

    His personal story was posted on-line as follows: “I was born and raised in Southern Alberta, joining the RCAF in October 1942. After graduating as a pilot, I was transferred overseas to Bomber Command. In 1944 was posted to No.429 Squadron at Leeming, in Yorkshire, England, flying Halifax and Lancaster bombers against the enemy. After the end of the war I remained in England in the ‘Interim Force’ until the RCAF squadrons were disbanded in the year 1946. Prior to returning home in June 1946, we flew the last Canadian crewed Lancaster to the junk yard at Wroughton, England. Flying in England after the war consisted of transporting soldiers home from Italy and clearing out the various armament dumps as well as dropping unused bombs and ammunition into the Irish and North Seas.

    “On returning to Canada I was engaged in buying grain until I joined the Royal Air Force in 1947 and transferred to No.224 Squadron based at Belfast, Ireland with a detachment in Gibraltar. The squadron was engaged in long range meteorological reconnaissance work out of Ireland and Gibraltar flying Halifax aircraft. After three years on the squadron I then went to southwest England at St.Eval as CO of a Communications Flight where I had a very interesting job of flying Coastal Command personnel to various parts of England, Scotland, Ireland and Europe.

    ‘In 1951 I returned to Canada and rejoined the RCAF. My first posting was to the Ferry Flight in Calgary for a short time until a transfer to No.435 Squadron in Edmonton arrived, Whilst in Edmonton I was awarded [sic – invested with] the Air Force Cross by Governor General Massey for my work with No.224 Squadron, Gibraltar. After four years in Edmonton flying Boxcars (C-119s) I was posted to Training Command and went the ‘flying instrictor’ route on Harvard, Dakotas, etc. In 1959 I was Guard Commander for the Queen of England when she visited Regina, Saskatchewan. In 1967 I was transferred to Edmonton as Provincial Air Cadet Liaison Officer. One of my first assignments was preparing a report on the Feasibility of Implementing Glider Training in the Air Cadet Syllabus. This report resulted in the current Air Cadet Glider Flying program. I have been associated with Air Cadets since 1951 when I flew them on familiarization flights in Alberta on Boxcars. On one memorable occasion in 1954 I flew the Air Cadet Squadron from Cold Lake to the Calgary Stampede which really made the Cadets happy. I served as Chairman of the Sponsoring Committee for No.232 Oliver Air Cadet Squadron for a period of six years. During my service career I flew a total of 16 different types of aircraft and logged 8,334 flying hours.

    ‘I was married to a Calgary girl, Norma Clarissa Dunford in 1953 and have two children. My son is a dentist in Vancouver while my daughter is a dental hygienist. After my retirement from the service in 1970 I moved to Oliver, in the Okanagan. In 1971 I started a picture-framing business in Penticton until selling out in 1976. My current activities include golfing, hunting, fishing and looking after a small orchard in Oliver.”

    It is unclear when this was composed and posted, but James Lorenzo Nelson died in Oliver, British Columbia on 10 September 2008.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanked 175 Times in 165 Posts

    Default Re: Meteorological Work - No.224 Squadron - James Lorenzo Nelson


    A possibility for your 'Communications Flight':


    Formed 5.2.41 at ROBOROUGH.
    5.44 establishment 3 Oxford, 2 Proctor.
    15.12.47 HARROWBEER.
    27.7.48 ST.EVAL.
    27.8.51 ROBOROUGH.
    Disbanded 1.4.60.
    Magister I (L8145); Mentor I (L4429); ST.25 (K8308); Tiger Moth T.2 (T7605); Monospar (K8308); Lysander III (T1757); Dominie (X7338 G2-A); Proctor I, III, IV (LZ684 G2-E); Oxford (V3190 G2-D); Anson I, X, C.19, T.22 (TX157 G2-B); Prentice T.1 (VS358); Sea Otter (JM805 2-D); Martinet TT.1 (MS922); Auster IV, V (RT489); Meteor T.7 (VW488); Chipmunk T.10 (WD329); Devon C.1 (VP975); Pembroke C (PR).1.
    G2 (1945/51).

    Royal Air Force Flying Training And Support Units Since 1912.
    Sturtivant,Ray (with John Hamlin).
    Staplefield:Air-Britain (Historians),2007.

    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th September 2021 at 12:42.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Thanked 79 Times in 74 Posts

    Default Re: Meteorological Work - No.224 Squadron - James Lorenzo Nelson

    Hugh, Hello,
    I am afraid I have little to offer you.
    224 appears to have re-formed at Aldergrove on Met Recce duties around the time (1946+) that the wartime Meteorological Air Observers (MAO) were being demobilised, and those who had been members of the UK Meteorological Office were returning to civilian status. The trade of MAO was being phased out. Met Recce flights were still required and a number of (now redundant?) Air Gunners, etc, were converted to do the job of meteorological observing in the air. By 1949, however, it had been decided to re-introduce the trade to members of the Met Office. Many of it’s young civilian Assistants were being called-up for their 2 years National Service. It was decided that if they ‘signed on’ (I think the minimum was for 3 years?), and were fit, they could become the newly introduced Air Meteorological Observers (AMOs – note the subtle title word rearrangement). These were just beginning to ‘come on stream’ about the time 224 moved to Gibraltar. Most of them would spend their time with 202 Sqn at Aldergrove, so it looks as if 224’s met observers would have been of the MAO variety rather than AMOs. I am mostly concerned with members of the UK Met Office in uniform (and ex-uniform). I have never gone into listing the crews who flew the aircraft my blokes worked in. If you are doing a study of 224 Sqn, and have got a list of the met observers, I can see if any of them come up in my Met Office MAO/AMO lists - or are one of "the usual suspects"!!!!!.
    Sorry not to be of more help!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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